676. Horn of Salvation
677. Horn of Salvation 2
678. The Future Black
679. THE END
680. THE END 2
681. THE END TWO WORLD
682. The Two Sided World End
683. The Dark Side of Two World Ends
684. The Blade
686. Death & Strawberry
675. Blood for My Bone
676. Horn of Salvation
677. Horn of Salvation 2
678. The Future Black
679. THE END
680. THE END 2
681. THE END TWO WORLD
682. The Two Sided World End
683. The Dark Side of Two World Ends
684. The Blade
685. The End of Flawlessness
686. Death & Strawberry
THE DEATH AND THE STRAWBERRY is the seventy-fourth and final volume of the Bleach manga series.
The final battle against Yhwach gets underway as Ichigo Kurosaki and his allies reach the Quincy King's throne room. Can Ichigo put an end to the thousand-year war between the Shinigami and Quincy? The emotional conclusion of Bleach is here!
Assuming a battle stance, Uryū asks Haschwalth why he is concerned about what kind of person Uryū is and points out that he should be trying to kill him instead of asking him so many questions. When Haschwalth reminds him that he has already seen a future where all of Uryū's allies die, Uryū states that this is subject to change as he proved earlier, prompting Haschwalth to admit that this is true before revealing that The Almighty possesses a far more terrifying ability than the power to see the future when used by Yhwach. As Uryū demands to know what he means, Haschwalth promises to tell him after they finish their battle before declaring that it is time for Uryū to place everything upon his broken scales as he attacks.
Meanwhile, in the uppermost level of the palace, Yhwach sends Ichigo hurtling back with his dark energy. As Ichigo gets up and attempts to rush forward again, Orihime stops him and tries to get him to calm down, only to let go when Ichigo looks at her. With Ichigo continuing to rush into his torrent of dark energy, Yhwach wonders why Ichigo is not revealing his true power and notes that he will destroy both Soul Society and the Human World if not stopped. When Orihime covers Ichigo with her Sōten Kisshun, Yhwach points out how she is saying "no" by healing Ichigo and telling him to keep fighting before blasting Ichigo with more energy while ordering him to expend all his energy and die for his allies. However, upon seeing the tip of his blade turning white, Ichigo has Orihime block Yhwach's next blast with Santen Kesshun, which he thanks her for. Noting the strange look that Ichigo had on his face earlier, Orihime notes that there had to be a reason for it, which Ichigo agrees with before revealing that he needed to awaken something with Yhwach's QuincyReiatsu. An explosion of energy engulfs Ichigo, and as Yhwach realizes what his endgame is, Ichigo, who has entered a new form with characteristics of his full Hollow form, emerges from the dust.
After greeting a shocked Orihime, Ichigo confirms Yhwach's assessment that this is the form he takes on when melding with his Hollow powers before explaining how he reforged his Zanpakutō after his Hollow and Quincy powers came into balance with one another. Noting that they should logically come forth if that balance is disrupted, Ichigo states that his Hollow powers have always come forth when he exerted his Shinigami powers before revealing that he had to draw them out with the help of Yhwach's power. As Yhwach grins at this, Ichigo moves in front of Santen Kesshun while telling Orihime to keep up her guard before unleashing his Reiatsu, which destroys most of the room around them. Yhwach commends Ichigo's power and forms his broadsword, only for Ichigo to grab him before slashing at close range. However, as more of the tower is destroyed by the force of the attack, Yhwach blocks Ichigo's blade with his bare hand and claims that he could not be harmed by Ichigo's level of strength before tossing him back. However, Ichigo proceeds to form a Getsuga Tenshō and fuse it with a Gran Rey Cero before firing it at Yhwach, who is cut deeply.
Yhwach reveals the true nature of the precognition granted to him by The Almighty, prompting Ichigo to activate his Bankai.
Noting that a combined attack like this is fitting for a racial hybrid like Ichigo, Yhwach grabs and repels the augmented Getsuga Tenshō before proclaiming that Ichigo is out of his league. Ichigo clashes with Yhwach, who details Ichigo's probable train of thought before declaring that his window of opportunity is gone as he activates The Almighty, which he admits is the result of him no longer being able to underestimate Ichigo's power. Clashing with Yhwach repeatedly, Ichigo draws his other sword and strikes, only for Yhwach to form a second sword and repel Ichigo in turn. As Ichigo lands on the ground, Yhwach notes that there is a trap there before Ichigo's foot is impaled by a shadow blade from the ground. Leaping off the blade, Ichigo attempts to leap off a nearby pillar, only to have his other foot impaled by shadowy blades as well, which causes him to realize that Yhwach has traps set up all over the area. After planting his sword in the ground, Yhwach states that Ichigo has likely been told that The Almighty allows him to see the future, prompting Ichigo to wonder if he is claiming to have placed traps in all the places he knew Ichigo would step before declaring that his attack should not connect if this is true.
Grinning, Yhwach slashes at Ichigo, who leaps back while noting that it did not connect and that Yhwach must have some limit to his precognitive ability. As Ichigo lands on top of a pillar, Yhwach details his thought process of growth during a fight causing the future to change before telling him to stay there if he believes this. Suddenly, Ichigo is stabbed by long shadowy blades from the wall behind him, causing him to grunt in pain as he falls to the ground below while wondering what is happening. Appearing in front of Ichigo, Yhwach reveals that Ichigo made a miscalculation by believing that the future is linear. Yhwach explains that the future diverges in countless directions from a given point in time like grains of sand in the wind and that there are as many possibilities as there are grains of sand before stating that changing the future is as simple as moving from one grain of sand to the next. Declaring that he can see all the grains of sand from where he stands, Yhwach tells Ichigo to keep pushing forward and moving between grains of sand without despairing. However, Ichigo decries the idea of falling into despair after he has broken through it so many times in order to reach this moment before activating his Bankai.
Ichigo activates his Bankai, but Yhwach swiftly overwhelms him while explaining the true power of The Almighty.
Declaring that he has broken through despair over and over in order to reach this point, Ichigo activates his Bankai, Tensa Zangetsu, in a burst of energy. However, Yhwach immediately breaks off part of the blade with his bare hand, leading a shocked Ichigo to wonder how he did this without moving. Yhwach notes that Tensa Zangetsu is indeed a fearsome Bankai and reveals that he used the future to break it before breaking off Ichigo's horn as well while reminding him to not drop his guard. When Yhwach throws his horn at him, Ichigo bashes it away with the remainder of his Bankai, only for Yhwach to appear behind and slash him out of the air and into the ground below. Attacking Ichigo once more, Yhwach closes in on him and slashes, only for Orihime's Santen Kesshun to block his blade. However, Ichigo is somehow still slashed across the chest, prompting Yhwach to reveal that The Almighty lets him transform the future as well as foresee it before telling Ichigo to despair for him.
As Haschwalth and Uryū detail the powers of their Schrifts, Yhwach drives Ichigo to the brink of despair.
Revealing that The Almighty allows him to transform the future, Yhwach states that it is no different from Ichigo and Orihime's powers because he can also influence only what he can see, which is the entirety of fate. Yhwach claims that Ichigo has only been able to overcome his despair and change his fate up until now because he was not present and declares that he will cut down any future Ichigo tries to create for himself before telling Ichigo that he can begin despairing now, prompting Ichigo to begin yelling in anger.
Meanwhile, within the castle, Haschwalth further injures Uryū before revealing that his Schrift is The Balance, which allows him to distribute misfortune to the fortunate and redirect all misfortune that would occur to him into his Freund Schild, a shield on his arm. As Haschwalth decides to finish Uryū off after observing that there is nothing left that he can do, Uryū asks Haschwalth if he wants to see his Schrift. Haschwalth reasons that Uryū would have used his Schrift by now if it were of any use in this battle, but Uryū names it as Antithesis as his wounds disappear and reappear on Haschwalth, who bleeds profusely while demanding to know what happened. Uryū explains that Antithesis allows him to reverse something that has already happened between two targets, such as damage inflicted, leading Haschwalth to note that it may be the only power capable of stopping Yhwach. Shocked by this statement, Uryū demands to know if this has something to do with the true power of The Almighty, but Haschwalth merely claims that he was right to try and kill Uryū as soon as possible, prompting Uryū to attempt to leave the area. However, Haschwalth states that he will not let Uryū go so easily and uses The Balance to badly wound Uryū for having the good fortune of being able to injure Haschwalth himself. After explaining this, Haschwalth notes that the misfortune he suffers is absorbed into his Freund Schild and redirected to Uryū, who is further injured. As Haschwalth declares that he has no way of winning, Uryū attempts to crawl away, prompting Haschwalth to note his tenacity before preparing to impale him as he states that Uryū is simply a human who desperately clings to his own beliefs.
At the top of the palace, Ichigo coughs up blood after being attacked by Yhwach, who grabs him by the head while noting that he expected more of a fight from Ichigo. Noting that neither his sword nor Orihime's powers have any effect, Ichigo loses all hope of winning, prompting Yhwach to drop him while claiming that all Ichigo accomplished was providing him with some entertainment before preparing to take back the power he had given to Ichigo.
After absorbing Ichigo's power, Yhwach invokes another Auswählen on his remaining Sternritter before departing from the Royal Realm.
Black veins encompass Ichigo and the surrounding area as he realizes his Quincy and Hollow powers are fading away. As his merged Hollow form dissipates, Ichigo falls to the ground, unconscious, as Yhwach laughs maniacally while darkness swells behind him.
Within Wahrwelt, Uryū manages to dodge Haschwalth's stab at the last minute before noting Haschwalth's comparison of him to his friends. Admitting that he has tried to remain calm and weigh his actions on scales up until this point, Uryū states that he cannot help but follow Ichigo's lead because he will help someone without question, which he notes is also true for Orihime, Sado, Renji, and Rukia. When Uryū claims that he would feel great joy if he began to resemble any one of them, Haschwalth dismisses his emotions before explaining that he was referring to Uryū's growth, as the single moment where Yhwach granted him power gave him far more growth than all the years he spent with his friends, and that it is more logical for him to side with Yhwach because of this. However, Uryū states that he chose to side with them not because it would benefit him, but because they were his friends. Angered by this, Haschwalth notes that Uryū never expected to give up anything in return for being taken in by Yhwach before declaring that Uryū will give Yhwach his life, only to be interrupted when an Auswählen beam envelops him, surprising both him and Uryū.
Outside, as Hitsugaya and Byakuya continue to face off against Gerard, they are shocked to see Gerard's flesh stripped away by the Auswählen, leaving his bones to crash into the ground below. Power is drawn from all over the area to the top of Wahrwelt, where Yhwach has opened a portal and bids Ichigo farewell while promising to bring ruin to all of existence now that he no longer has need for him or the Sternritter. When Rukia and Renji appear, Yhwach expresses annoyance at having so many weaklings be sent after him and note that they are probably too exhausted to take another step before deciding to leave the portal open so they can pursue him if they wish, which he will reward them for by slaughtering them in their time of greatest happiness. As he promises them that they will feel the looming shadow of death for all eternity, Yhwach steps into the portal.
As Haschwalth gives Uryū the opportunity to save his friends, Ichigo is assisted by the deceased Fullbringers.
As Yhwach enters the portal, Renji attempts to attack him from behind, only for Yhwach to effortlessly shatter the end of his Shikai before disappearing into the void.
Meanwhile, within Wahrwelt, Haschwalth collapses and, upon seeing a concerned Uryū looking at him, claims that he does not feel betrayed by Yhwach because the latter chose to take his power over Uryū's, which means only he can be an asset to Yhwach. When Uryū begins to walk away, Haschwalth asks him to come back so he can transfer Uryū's wounds to himself, shocking Uryū. Noting that he will die regardless of how wounded he is, Haschwalth reminds Uryū of how he puts everything on his scales because he might come to regret everything if he merely follows others without considering the consequences of his actions before telling him to save his friends. Shortly after transferring Uryū's wounds to himself, Haschwalth lies alone on the ground and notes that living life according to one's convictions and without any regrets is compelling as his grip on his sword loosens to reveal Bazz-B's emblem.
At the top of Wahrwelt, as Rukia expresses shock at Yhwach's power and notes that there is no limit to what he can accomplish through rewriting the future, Orihime apologizes to Ichigo for being unable to restore Tensa Zangetsu and claims that she will be unable to stop any future destruction as well. Suddenly, Renji hoists Ichigo up and declares that they will be confronting Yhwach, prompting Rukia to point out that simply charging in will accomplish nothing. However, they are all interrupted when Ichigo is stabbed through the shoulder by Shūkurō Tsukishima, who reveals that Kūgo Ginjō told him they were taking Ichigo's side before explaining how he altered the past so Orihime can restore Ichigo's Bankai. Emerging from Yukio's transport behind Tsukishima, Kūgo corrects Tsukishima's statement by saying that they are merely repaying the debt they owe. When Tsukishima asks him if they are even now, Ichigo confidently stands up with his restored Bankai and confirms this.
Ichigo and Renji follow Yhwach to the Seireitei, where the latter destroys Aizen's restraints.
Exiting a portal in the rubble of the Seireitei, Yhwach sees Aizen in his chair as Aizen admits that he never expected to meet him in Soul Society before welcoming Yhwach to his Soul Society.
In Wahrwelt, as Uryū ascends a flight of stairs, Ryūken appears with Isshin and fires a silver arrowhead into a nearby wall. When a shocked Uryū questions why they are here, Ryūken explains how he forged the silver arrowhead from the silver blood clot that he found within Kanae Katagiri's heart after she was killed by the Auswählen before telling Uryū that he is the one who should fire it, prompting Uryū to pull it out of the wall.
Meanwhile, within the Dangai, Ichigo and Renji run along a path of Reishi. When Ichigo collapses, Renji asks him if he will be alright, prompting Ichigo to claim that he will be fine as Renji hoists him up by the arm. Upon being told that it would have been more sensible to stay behind with Orihime given his injuries, Renji headbutts and punches Ichigo before explaining how Ichigo is the one who mended his relationship with Rukia, which is why he decided to return the favor by helping Ichigo in such a dire situation. Stating that he will always have Ichigo's back, Renji asks him to not question this decision so he does not have to sound sentimental again.
In the Seireitei, a huge wave of dark energy erupts as Aizen, now freed of his chair and restraints, notes that Yhwach was supposed to be fighting fiercely against Ichigo in the Royal Realm before deducing that Ichigo gave Yhwach more trouble than he anticipated, only for Yhwach to remind him that he is the one whom Ichigo defeated. Thanking Yhwach for freeing him from the chair, Aizen exerts his Reiatsu and notes that he now possesses the means to defeat Yhwach before responding to Yhwach's questioning of his motives by stating that he merely intends to eviscerate anyone who stands in his way. Suddenly, Ichigo and Renji appear behind Yhwach as Ichigo attacks him, only to be repelled. Claiming that he knew Tensa Zangetsu would be restored and that Ichigo and Renji would follow him, Yhwach states that Ichigo would have his Bankai shatter in his hands once more as Tensa Zangetsu is suddenly cracked, only for Yhwach to note that he had intended to destroy it completely and that Ichigo possesses good fortune.
Ichigo and Renji team up with Aizen to take down Yhwach.
Pushed back by a blast of dark energy from Yhwach that destroys part of Sōkyoku Hill, Ichigo glares at him as Yhwach questions why he did not let Orihime heal his wounds prior to coming here before reminding Ichigo that he was told he would be unable to do anything even if he followed. When Renji attacks him, Yhwach states that this applies to him too. An angry Renji activates his Bankai, Sōō Zabimaru, only for Yhwach to sever his left arm while claiming that all Bankai are rendered impotent against him before deciding to crush Renji with his own hands in order to prove this point. Suddenly, Aizen appears with Kyōka Suigetsu in hand and intervenes, prompting Yhwach to ridicule him for defending one of the "losers" which he so detests, before using Hadō #99. Goryūtenmetsu, which ruptures the ground around them and forms a large energy dragon in the air above as Aizen rushes forward.
Despite this, Yhwach merely points out that Aizen's sword is cracked before sending him hurtling back with an energy blast. When Ichigo appears behind him, Yhwach blows off his arm and stops his blade while noting that Ichigo decided to ally himself with Aizen before pointing out how even Kyōka Suigetsu was useless before his power. Reminding Ichigo that he can see everything, Yhwach shatters Tensa Zangetsu and bids Ichigo farewell before seemingly blowing a hole in his torso as he prepares to destroy Soul Society. However, Aizen, having disguised himself as Ichigo, merely notes that Yhwach's vision of Ichigo attacking him is interesting while impaled on Yhwach's hand. Suddenly, the real Ichigo impales Yhwach from behind with Tensa Zangetsu before unleashing a powerful Getsuga Tenshō.
Yhwach revives himself, but Uryū briefly stops his powers by shooting him with the silver arrowhead, allowing Ichigo to strike a decisive blow.
As Ichigo cuts him in half, Yhwach dissolves into a mass of darkness, prompting Aizen to commend Ichigo for responding to his usage of Kyōka Suigetsu as quickly as he did. When Ichigo notes that he experienced a strange feeling similar to when Aizen used Kyōka Suigetsu on his allies, prompting Aizen to explain how he released it before Ichigo arrived and confirmed that it would work on Yhwach before revealing that Ichigo was the final component in his plan because he was unaffected by it. Suddenly, Yhwach's darkness engulfs Aizen as Yhwach himself notes that the power of Kyōka Suigetsu appears to have run out before reforming as he asks Ichigo if he really thought an attack of that caliber would be enough to kill him. Proclaiming that he can even rewrite futures where he dies using The Almighty, Yhwach bashes Tensa Zangetsu out of Ichigo's hand and engulfs him and the rest of the Seireitei in his darkness before declaring that everything will lose its form and become one before his power. However, Yhwach is interrupted when Uryū fires the silver arrowhead through his chest, to the surprise of both him and Ichigo. As Uryū recalls Sōken Ishida's words about how the silver formed by the Auswählen can stop the powers of its user by making contact with their blood, Yhwach's darkness suddenly clears from his body, prompting Uryū to tell Ichigo to move now. With his cracked Bankai in hand, Ichigo leaps toward Yhwach, who is beginning to regain his powers and seemingly shatters the blade in his hand. However, the blade instead crumbles to reveal the original Zangetsu in Ichigo's hands, prompting a stunned Yhwach to realize that this is what Haschwalth was trying to warn him about with his dream as Ichigo cuts him in two.
Ten years after the defeat of Yhwach, the captains and lieutenants of the Gotei 13 gather for the promotion of the newest captain.
Sitting by the resting place of his dearest friend, Shunsui notes the rebuilding of Soul Society is almost complete; reminiscing how fast the years have gone by, and how they were able to accomplish the rebuilding process by themselves. He is then interrupted by Nanao to head over to the First Division barracks. Meanwhile, Mayuri oversees the completion of the brand new Research and Technology Department, and prepares for the expansion of his secret underground network with his newest lab assistant, Nemuri Hachigō, commenting that her shouting is unnecessary.
Elsewhere, Kenpachi loudly rebukes his squad members for their unwavering fealty, prompting Ikkaku to ask if it's okay to be wasting time like this, when they should be heading to the First Division barracks. But Kenpachi tells him that it should be at the Thirteenth Division's barracks, reminding the new lieutenant that because Yachiru is no longer around, his sense of direction should no longer be as bad as it was before. Noticing that the Eleventh Division is heading in the wrong direction, Momo attempts to set them on the right course, but Shinji stops her, saying they'll end up late as well dealing with that lot.
At the training grounds, Iba, now Captain of the Seventh Division, jumps a huge distance down a hill, telling his squad they can come down at their own pace. He then bumps into Hitsugaya and lieutenant Matsumoto, as Hitsugaya notes that he has the initiative and temperament to be captain, and that a certain someone could learn a thing or two from him. The Captain and Lieutenant of the Ninth Division suddenly show up, as Kensei confirms that he was referring to Shūhei, who exchanges banter with Matsumoto, stating that he has mastered his Bankai. Everyone then belittles him, stating that they've never even seen his Bankai before, while he insists that it's only because he hasn't had the chance to use it for a while. Hitsugaya remarks that that's a good thing, as it means nothing has happened during that time to break the peace they all enjoy.
Kenpachi finally arrives at the First Division barracks, only to be reprimanded by Suì-Fēng for being late, as the new Captain Isane politely tells them that they're both here now. Shunsui then begins the ceremony of promoting Rukia to the captaincy of the 13th Division, as a nervous Rukia walks in and confirms her presence. Back at the S.R.D.I., Akon notices some strange readings on the scanners, confirming that they look identical to ones Yhwach's Reiatsu emitted ten years ago.
As Ichigo and company gather at the Kurosaki Clinic to watch Yasutora Sado fight in a boxing match, Rukia and Renji arrive with their child.
A young boy with orange hair is caught by Hiyori Sarugaki when he sneaks into her home, but he runs away before she can get to him.
In Seireitei, Byakuya races toward the reported remnants of Yhwach's Reiatsu. Another Shinigami reports that the Reiatsu response is coming from the West 55th Block, the final area under reconstruction. Suì-Fēng then catches up to Byakuya and tells him that Rukia immediately left after her ceremony, but Byakuya does not care because it has been a while since she had downtime and he can deal with this himself. They then reach Mayuri, who is surprised that they were informed of this, and Suì-Fēng tells him not to underestimate their intelligence networks. Byakuya states that since Mayuri is here, he will assume the information they received was accurate, and Mayuri only responds that they will soon find out for themselves as a large mass of Yhwach's Reiatsu manifests in front of them.
In the Human World, Rukia and Renji arrive at the Kurosaki Clinic, and Ichigo greets them.
Rukia makes fun of Ichigo's lack of customers as she and Renji head inside, and she is greeted by Keigo, Tatsuki, and Mizuiro. Karin and Yuzu then arrive with popcorn and soda, and they happily greet Rukia as well. Karin races to the couch and tells Ichigo to hurry up as a boxing match featuring Sado is about to begin. As they watch Sado on the screen, Keigo notes that he ended up becoming the most famous out of all of them. Meanwhile, Uryū takes a lunch break on the roof of the doctor's office where he works, and his fellow doctors reveal to each other that since he could not go out and meet up with his friends, this was the next best thing he could do.
Back at the Kurosaki Clinic, Ichigo calls Orihime to the TV, and she comes into the den as Ichigo asks where their son Kazui is. Orihime says that he should be upstairs, having heard that he just returned from snooping around Hiyori's home. Ichigo asks Yuzu if she is fine with Kazui being in her room, which she affirms, and Karin asks her if he gets a free pass like Ichigo did. Ichigo then questions Rukia and Renji if they brought their child as well, and Rukia states that she was given permission to come with them after becoming a Shinigami apprentice. However, their daughter is nowhere to be found, but Rukia is flippant about it and believes that she can easily win if she gets into any fights, outraging Ichigo. Meanwhile, Kazui sees a dark ball on the wall of Yuzu's room brimming with Yhwach's Reiatsu. Inside Seireitei, the Shinigami get ready for the mass of Reiatsu to attack, while Kazui reaches in and touches the Reiatsu in front of him. Right then, the mass of Reiatsu completely vanishes, shocking the Shinigami.
As he sits bound inside Muken, Aizen realizes that the last remnants of Yhwach's power have completely disappeared, and remembers when Yhwach was defeated ten years ago. As he died, Yhwach told Ichigo that the path to a world without fear was closed. He had intended to create a world where all the realms were unified, removing the barrier of death and the fear that came with it. He told Ichigo that because of him, the cycle of life and death would continue and people would live in fear for all eternity. However, in the present, Aizen reflects that such a world would strip people of the hope and willpower to keep death at bay, which gave them courage. While Ichigo and Rukia argue, a red-haired girl emerges from a dark orb behind Kazui and introduces herself as Ichika Abarai, a Shinigami apprentice. Kazui then introduces himself and reveals that he is a Shinigami as well as he transforms into one, shocking Ichika.